October 6, 2008
By Harry Heath, Portland, OR

Ruby was my pet rat that I got in the 4th Grade. I have had her for over three years. When she was younger, she would scamper around my room and hide under my dresser. I would take her for walks around my old house in Pennsylvania. We took her across the country by car, when we moved to Oregon. She didn’t enjoy that much!

She was my best friend. She was the one I could tell all my problems to. She was family. She listened to me when no one else did. Sometimes it was as if she was talking to me as well. At night, she would run in her wheel and dig around in the bark chips in her cage.

Then she got old. When she was almost four, she got a tumor. She could barely get up to her food and water, she was starving. She got skinnier and skinnier everyday. I had to feed her food and water myself. She had a sore on her bottom, which was gross and sad at the same time.

Before this, she was so energetic. She would scratch and clean herself all the time. She was very fast; if she was scared she would dart undercover, usually under my dresser. She had a hoard of my junk there that she would collect. Sometimes I would give her baths, but she hated getting wet. Regardless, I taught her how to swim. Sometimes I would fill the bathtub and drop her in. At first she would try to get out, but after a while she would start swimming laps! Whenever she was in water, she would always poop a lot! It was disgusting to clean this up!
My mom never liked her at first, because of her tail, but the longer Ruby lived with us, the more my mom grew to like her. I loved her so much and i am sad that she is gone now. She had a happy and long life, though. She is buried in my back yard. Her grave is marked with three stones representing her years with us. Back in our old house in Pennsylvania, I would take her for walks when my mom took the goats for a walk. She was afraid of our chickens and the dog, but she got used to them. Our dog was more afraid of her, though. I miss her, but I’m glad that had a good life.

The author's comments:
Mitch is sound affect man.

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